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Comment: Re:Politicians are only experts at getting re-elec (Score 1) 410

by Hijacked Public (#39172125) Attached to: Open Letter By Eric S. Raymond To Chris Dodd

That is kind of their job as they make laws that impact a wide variety of things. Or at least that is the convention on the public facing side of what they do, speaking to journalists as if they are experts and have first hand knowledge.

In reality, what they know outside of their particular field (mostly lawyering) comes mostly from subject matter experts and those come from whatever lobbying group musters them. So while politicians may be informed before they put forward a law, their information is often cherry picked or outright biased.

ESR is no different in this case as he has his own agenda he is trying to push. It would be hard to find subject matter experts without one. And this isn't confined to just the Interent or fast moving geek tech. "The shoulder thing that goes up" is one of the many famous examples where a politician was trying to have something outright banned from production despite having no clue what it was.

Comment: Re:why do we care about shape? (Score 1) 471

by Hijacked Public (#39021467) Attached to: What the iPad 3 Looks Like

I care about the shape of the phone more than the pad, partly because I don't have a pad but also because these devices need to evolve into something more fit to hold in our hands.

Obviously there is some minimum screen size that people will want for a given device. So once that area is defined, and hardware can be crammed into some very thin space behind it, designers should be free to shape the rest of a device's case in some hand(s) friendly way.

I've seen some anecdotal data suggesting that iphones and other thin, candy bar format touchscreen phones, get dropped more often than older designs. Nokia has a couple of designs that appear to work on that problem.

Comment: Re:In perspective (Score 5, Interesting) 380

Not really, because regardless of their false positive rate the evidence is what the evidence is.

Actually what you need is an eyes-wide-open, honest evaluation of the data, that isn't tainted by the interests of NASA or its subs or politicians who are have taken some positionon matters related to the above. And good luck with that.

If you read much Edward Tufte or attend one of his talks, he has a lot to say about the decision making processes for both the Challenger and Columbia incidents. I am dubious that an entire army of actual rocket scientists could have, of their own accord, made multiple data presentation choices that cast their employers in the best possible light. Laying out a graph that eventually helped a room full of smart people decide that the booster seals would be fine on the launch date. When those same data plotted differently showed an obvious direct correlation between failure and ambient temp and they were going to launch on the coldest day yet.

There is similar manipulating of the data from the Columbia.

People trying to serve some incidental interest, like preserving a contract or future funding, who are obviously cherry picking the information they share, aren't likely to be swayed by a low false positive rate. They made their decision long before they saw any evidence of anything anyway.

Comment: Re:Commerce maximalists? (Score 5, Interesting) 332

by Hijacked Public (#38908363) Attached to: FDA Regulating Your Stem Cells As Interstate Commerce

No it isn't.

The 'potentially biohazardous material' is contained inside the patient when he boards the airplane to fly to Colorado. That he happens to be going to Colorado to have this procedure performed sets him aparts from the other airplane passengers not at all.

What the FDA is claiming and will probably be backed up by the executive on but possibly not the judicial, is that because the company performing the procedure purchases equipment from other states, their entire business can then be regulated per the commerce clause. This includes their performing the procedure.

It is the same line of thought that had the Clinton administration claiming it could confiscate a person's property simply because that property had once moved across state lines, no matter how long ago and no matter how many hands it had previously passed through, even within the same state. This is an enormous power to give to a government and the very idea that such a tenuous tie is enough to warrant it is insane. SCOTUS rebuked that just a bit recently, but not nearly enough.

Comment: Re:The power of privacy (Score 1) 720

by Hijacked Public (#38907233) Attached to: Do You Like Online Privacy? You May Be a Terrorist

I would never wave or point a weapon with the intent of terrorizing others

I've done so on orders from the US Government, so I agree with you to some extent, but also with the person you replied to. Gun owners sometimes get into this argument over open versus concealed carry.

The reality is that if enough people are afraid of your behavior, whatever it is, and those people organize themselves well enough, your behavior will be made illegal. Then just the act of looking at Noveske's web site on your phone in a public space will be enough to get you in trouble. Now, it can be enough cause for the FBI or local PD to just inconvenience you.

Comment: Re:Meanwhile... (Score 1) 265

by Hijacked Public (#38904203) Attached to: The Hi-Tech Security at the Super Bowl

Because that was part of the requirements for getting the event held in Indianapolis. They likely spent a lot more to dig up Georgia street between the basketball stadium and the football one to rebuild it as a pedestrian corridor between the two, so they'd have room to install the super bowl village.

But the city went to the NFL and competed to get this thing, as did several other cities, because despite the up front costs it will make money from it. Thus why the NFL and the fans who attend the game don't have to pay for security out of their own pockets.

Comment: Re:Why? OWS, for one thing... (Score 2) 405

by Hijacked Public (#38670814) Attached to: Who's Flying Those Drones? FAA Won't Say

It is entirely relevant. Randy Weaver failed to pay a tax, and a soldier shot his wife on orders from the US government.

That quite directly contradicts what is being claimed, that US soldiers won't follow orders to kill US citizens.

If you've some specific beef with the example, there are plenty of others. Unsurprisingly, FBI snipers regularly train for and are expected to manage situations that are 'tense', by the very nature of their job. I was deployed for more than a year as an 8541 in the USMC and I can absolutely assure you that if you shoot people you aren't cleared to shoot you'll be in prison as fast as they can get you there, tense or not.

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